The Correct Answer is, Apparently, Unwaxed – Unless Your Teeth Are Close Together.

March 29, 2011

Freshly Pressed, Humor

Went to the dentist yesterday for a check up.  No cavities!  *ting!*  Going to the dentist is always a mixed bag for me because – as I’ve talked about before – I’m just a skosh freaky about my teeth, but as a result I take good care of them.  So there’s the standard dread, because… you know… people jabbing and scraping your gums… intentionally trying to stab sharp metal into your teeth… the potential of drills… but, since I try to take care of them, when I go it’s often a big love-fest.  Sure, a love-fest with gum-jabbing, but a love-fest.

“Oh, you have such nice teeth!”

“Thank you.”

“Almost no plaque build-up!”

“I do what I can.”

“Strong enamel!  Such powerful roots!”

“Well, I work out.”

“You must floss.”

“You know it. I buy that shit by the bale.” *high five*

Ah, but it wasn’t always this way…

“You ordered the dental floss?”

For most of my life the trip to the dentist has been dread compounded with shame.  The air ripe with the smell of fear and fluoride.  Me, gripping my fingers until they turn white, reclined in the chair with that big interrogation light in my face… sitting through the scraping, awaiting… the question.

“Sooooo…. Have you been… flossing?”




“Yes.  Well, I’ve flossed about 15 times since yesterday when you called and reminded me that I had a dentist appointment.  That has to count for something?”

Of course it’s too late now.  You’re on the bad list.  It spirals from here.

“And this floss that you claim to use.  Is it waxed… or unwaxed?”

Near diarrhea levels of panic swell.  Got to get it right.

“Waxed.  Unwaxed.  Waxed… waxed.”

“Waxed?  Tsk tsk tsk.”


“Perhaps you need A DEMONSTRATION FLOSS.”

Defending my own personal Crestopolis against Cavity Creeps, foreign and domestic.

Which is, of course, total bullshit.  I’m a grown up, I’m familiar with the vast intricacies of the flossing process, but even if I wasn’t, a “demonstration” would be a couple teeth followed by “you try!” and words of encouragement (“Oh, see, that’s your ear.  Keep trying!”).  This is a near wordless procedure, floss wrapped around the hygienists fists like piano-wire, foot braced against the cupboard for leverage, lifting you out of your seat, the only words spoken the occasional burst of, “You must get under the gum!  Under the gum!!”

At least I’m pretty sure this is how it went.

Now maybe my previous dentist was an escaped war criminal (I reported him as one, just in case), or maybe my current dentist is incompetent – roaming from room to room saying “Wow!  Looks great!” to people whose teeth are actively rotting out of their heads while they sit there – but I’m sticking with the current one.  In fact, I bet there’d be a real market for a dentist who tells you everything’s fantastic every time.  Sure, you might have to endure agonizing nerve pain and teeth with the strength of marshmellows (“But doctor, there are so many holes, when the wind blows my teeth whistle like a flute!”  “That’s normal.”), but I still bet there’d be a pretty good market.

, ,

About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

View all posts by The Byronic Man


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

110 Comments on “The Correct Answer is, Apparently, Unwaxed – Unless Your Teeth Are Close Together.”

  1. emjayandthem Says:

    Under the gum? I agree with you – total b.s.! 🙂 Fun post, and the picture? Perfect!


  2. forceinvisible Says:

    Your blogs are so much fun to read!


  3. Brittany Blackman Says:

    Since buying a crest electric toothbrush, I simply pretend that it takes away the need to floss…we’ll see next week when I’m in the same chair, staring at the hygienist, wondering if the vacuum thing is going to suck out my soul.


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Those vibrating toothbrushes never outright say it, but they sure imply that you don’t need to floss anymore. Pretty good gimmick, really. I bet if a commercial implied that a certain brand of shoes or cell phone would mean you didn’t have to floss any more people would buy it.

      I had a friend who claimed to have a “special method” of brushing that negated the need for floss. Part of me wanted to say “Mmmmm…. no you don’t.” But then I thought, would I want my dental delusions ruptured?


    • Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

      This reminds me of how I used to believe I could eat anything I wanted if I simply ate a banana afterward. That’s the magical power of the banana, after all: to obliterate enemy “anti-nutrients” on sight! (What? I totally saw it on a banana sticker. Somewhere. *cough*)


  4. savesprinkles1234 Says:

    Quite funny. My dentist is a Jedi. She has a laser drill and a holographic flossing demonstration. I hate her, but I have great teeth.


  5. homeisaname Says:

    Not only do I like waxed floss, I like MINT waxed floss. And I think it should be green.

    However, if you write the floss company and tell them that, you will get a letter back saying that they appreciate your comments and they had a nice laugh.

    Not that I did that or anything.


  6. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    I never thought I’d laugh about anything related to the dentist. Until about three minutes ago, I would’ve decried the thought I’d laugh multiple times at something related to dentistry.

    This is my favorite “freshly pressed” entry yet. It’s also a great reminder that I can take precautions to avoid certain discussions with my own dentist during my next (overdue) appointment.


  7. fireandair Says:

    I wish I had visits like that. I’m like Nurse Diesel with my teeth — floss, pick, brush like a mofo because I hate dentists … and the stupid things still have enamel like tissue paper and rot if I so much as sneeze. Damn DNA.

    I know people who brush once a WEEK and have perfect white teeth, though. Tain’t fair I’m tellin ya.


  8. ~ calista ~ Says:

    I love this – I had a dentist appointment yesterday myself. I have had many demonstration flosses over the years, but never began rigorously flossing until last year. I now also buy floss by the bale and have better teeth for it.


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Plus, then if you skip a day you feel like you’re just being CRAZY. Maybe that’s sad that you have to set the bar that low to feel like an untamed creature, but hey, actual untamed creatures have terrible teeth.


  9. Harold Says:

    Congrats on the good check up and being FP! I got good teeth but bad gums. Yep not enough good flossing! Root planing for the second time!


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Thanks and thanks. Yeah, it took me a second to figure out what was going on with my hit marker on the dashboard. Like some bizarre cosmic coincidence was leading people suddenly to seek out smart-assed remarks about dentist visits.


  10. crankypants Says:

    I like the dental tape, it just seems gentler. (Oral-B Satin) At least, it got me to use it on a semi regular basis… 🙂


  11. rodalena Says:

    Loved this, and I am a total Anti-Dentite. I think one needs a higher degree to purchase a toothbrush these days. As for floss, I think its best use is cutting cheesecakes, even though I am known as a pretty neurotic flosser around the house.


  12. Margie Says:

    I have crappy teeth. Over the years my insurance company and I have paid my dentist enough money for really nice renovations to his office, a very flashy fish tank, and several pleasant vacations…


  13. Kavya Says:

    Lol. I was just about to write about my own dentist ordeal when I saw this. I think your escaped war criminal dentist just moved into my neighborhood


  14. My Camera, My Friend Says:

    I hate the metal picks they use. Flossing is annoying, but it’s always better than the dentist.


  15. fornormalstepfathers Says:

    I “love” dentist talk…Whenever I need to feel like a complete idiot, I just ask my dentist a question. Then he goes – I have this problem, you have this problem, my assistant has the same problem, our receptionist has the same problem…What the heck is his problem?


  16. raodentistry Says:

    Wow-I never would have thought that a post about a dental visit would make it on Freshly Pressed, but here it is! Congrats! As a dentist (please refrain from verbal violence), I am so glad to hear that despite your previous experience, you actually took it upon yourself to take better care of your teeth!

    By the way, in my opinion, the best floss is the one you actually USE in between your teeth and go up and down with 🙂


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      That’s a good point about the best floss. And I’m actually a big fan of my dentist, and not just because of the positive affirmation. I suspect it just takes people a long time to get over that fear imprint from when we’re kids. It’s like getting a shot as an adult – that hard-written fear that it’l hurt like crazy.


  17. Sister Earth Organics Says:

    Just reading the word “dentist” is giving me anxiety!
    I just did a post about how flossing can prevent impotence, so……keep it up….umm……keep flossing!


  18. louisesmithers Says:

    Haha…this is so funny. I’m glad you were Freshly Pressed today, I enjoyed the laugh. And yay for your pearly whites!


  19. pinkunderbelly Says:

    Love the Crestopolis pic. Classic! I’m pretty proud of my teeth, too, and would be pissed if i got a bad report. Going to floss right now. Unwaxed, of course.


  20. engchick23 Says:

    I laughed so hard I cried! I’m really glad I didn’t have the same dentist you did!


  21. Melissa Says:

    ah, the dentist. You must have health insurance.

    My roots work out too.


  22. dstecca Says:

    Sorry Byron, Under the gum is correct- I am a dental assistant and I have to stick by your hygienist recommendations. She doesn’t mean jam it down to your knees or up to your eyeballs, but healthy gums have a little collar of free space (actually about 3 millimeters) around the neck of each tooth and by wrapping gently in a “C” shape and gently sliding just under the gum, you are correctly cleaning out the plaque.


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Thanks – and I do it, it’s just the concept, as with most dental-related concepts, that kind of weirds me out. The idea of baby teeth falling out and new ones emerging seems like a surreal horror story.


  23. Maribeth Says:

    The barrel of hay is so perfect. I was really drawn to this post, though, because my teeth are very close together. Have to buy expensive floss or the strand will break mid-floss session. I suppose there are worse things.

    Great post!


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      I know, then you have to use more floss to get out the jammed floss. It’s like a horror film where the guy has to go out in to the woods after the first guy who didn’t come back, then he doesn’t come back…


  24. drjessicassingalongblog Says:

    So glad I found this post. I just seconds ago signed up for my first wordpress blog (yes, I have a nice residence under a rock). I also just visited my dentist… I can completely relate.

    After a youth of dental disobedience despite the HUGE sums of money my parents spent on braces (sorry Mom!), I have transformed myself into a picture of patient compliance. I have dental floss with me at all times. Sad that I need the approval of someone who sees fit to stab me in the gums every-time I see him… But, unwaxed all the way!!


  25. lovewhatyouhave1487 Says:

    HAHA!!! As a person who is planning on becoming a dental hygienist… I love it!!! I will try to remember to not be such a bitch about flossing when I’m cleaning someone’s teeth in the future 🙂


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      I don’t know – if I were dealing with someone whose teeth were like birds’ nests, I’d probably get a little testy. “Would you like the ‘flossing’ option, or the ‘Don’t come crying to us’ option?”


  26. yagerbabies Says:

    Totally awesome. Personally I know whats going to happen to me if I go to the dentist and I have been avoiding him for a while now. Your a brave, brave man 😀


  27. LBcruiseshipblogger Says:

    I just went to the dentist today. Now they have ultrasound cleaner thingies and water sprayer cleaners to add to the list of instruments of torture in the name of prevention of future gum disease and dental decay.


  28. creativeconfessions Says:

    Ha ha! My dentist is forced to constantly remind me to “for heaven’s sake, floss” each time I go for a checkup.

    Nice post!


  29. cgato Says:

    How close is close together? I think I used to have waxed, but it kept breaking… or maybe it was weak anyway…


  30. Aria Says:


    Ps. I think I found the dentist you mentioned at the end, the one with the great affirmation and shat dentistry. I ❤ him.


  31. SaltyBill Says:

    My least favorite place in the world!!! I moved across the country and am far away from the only dentist I ever liked/trusted… lame


  32. jollof Says:

    Gosh! I’m due for my dental checkup too. Thanks for the reminder and the read. Thoroughly enjoyed it!


  33. Pure Profundity Says:

    I absolutely love this. I can completely relate it to my dental visits.
    Cheers for the laugh.


  34. colin L Beadon Says:

    Wish I could floss. My teeth are too close together, and so the floss ends up cut, and stuck, and I end up walking around like a mop stuck in my mouth.
    The electric toothbrush has changed the mouth of those who use them. I used to smoke and chew tobacco. That was almost as good, except the teeth get stained.


  35. J DUBBS Says:

    unlike most people, i’m slightly addicted to dental hygiene. and flossing. and my philips sonicare toothbrush. so i totally love going to the dentist and having him tell me my teeth are in mint condition as well – great post :]


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Thanks. I know, now that I’m so freaky about flossing and such I feel like the teacher’s pet who got the right answer every time the hygienist says, “Wow, looks great. Keep it up.”


  36. Crucial D Says:

    Of course you have to get the floss under the gum, otherwise, don’t bother to floss because yer doing it wrong. If you’d pay attention to the demo and actually do it properly then you’d never have to see another demo again. If you flossed properly, daily, then you wouldn’t have to endure as much of the scaling when you do see your hygienist. No product, electric toothbrush or Listerine, can take the place of proper flossing, no matter what the commercial implies. Signed an annoyed dental assistant.


  37. czenzi Says:

    This is basically every dentist appointment I’ve ever had. Only better written. Where I usually go, the hygienists are all ace at giving the evil eye. I think it’s part of their training. I finally just gave in and bought some of that floss that’s kind of spongy except when you pull it tight.

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!


  38. Forbidden Fruit Says:

    Byronic dude! Being a dentist myself, I specially loved your post. Infact it has acted as an incentive for me to write some funny accounts of my personal interaction with patients. And teeth becoming from flute to piano.
    Congrats on being FP!


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      That’s a great idea – I bet people would actually love to get the other side of the chair, so to speak. I’m sure having after a thousand people in a row complaining that their teeth hurt and their gums are receding, but who are unwilling to spend 45 seconds flossing you’d feel like a lunatic.


  39. broadsideblog Says:

    This is a hoot! I was relieved on my last visit to have fab teeth so I confessed to the hygienist my secret tool for the molars the back that are too close together for floss…warning her it was gross. (magazine subscription cards, the corner. Yeah, I know.)

    She told me she once had a client from Texas who flossed with copper wire.

    Now THAT is weird.


  40. Mike Says:

    This is simply amazing. I’ve had multiple trips to the dentist over the past 2 years and this latest one does regular cleanings, deep cleanings, and cleanings that almost touch your brain and require numbing.

    I’m not saying that I fear the dentist, but I have a hate love relationship with him. I hate to go but I love to leave!

    Love the post! Keep it up :).


  41. mb Says:

    This is great what a fabulous post! Even though my Dentist is awesome I always fear the chair and wish for a pez like valium dispenser at the door.

    Congrats on being pressed!


  42. Ava Aston's Muckery Says:

    Flossing is very important and should be done regularly. I do advice that friends don’t let friends floss and Skype at the same time. That’s just nasty.

    Great post.

    Congrats on being Freshly Flossed, err, I mean Pressed.




  43. acleansurface Says:

    I have had good results with my new sonic toothbrush and “woven floss”.


  44. philosofiez Says:

    I’m a dentist! Funny reading your blog, well done! And really, flossing or other interdental aids really is important…it’s the ONLY way to get rid of plaque in between your teeth!


  45. Sir Real Says:

    Great post! I share your hesitance about the dentist. Since I was little I had the same dentist so you couldn’t hide anything from him. I never got the nod of great approval no matter how hard I tried lol.


  46. sheila7697 Says:

    This is hysterical. Exactly my experience at the dentist. And I do get a rousing “You look great, Fantastic! Keep up the good work!” every six months. Maybe flossing isn’t all that important after all? I floss religiously…every time I eat pop corn, which is about ever six months or so…Now that I think about it, usually about the time of my next cleaning!

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud today!



  47. dailygazing Says:

    I’ve been flossing my ear too. I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong!!! Explains why I had to have deep gum cleaning recently. Ouch.


  48. greenlightgirl Says:

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed! I was at the dentist on Thursday to have a veneer repaired. A big beefy rib was a cruel beast and hurt it! Anyway, I have a huge crush on my dentist and thus I have been taking better care of my teeth, I mean, you don’t want a man that you’d like to have an old fashioned make out session with to think you don’t floss well enough!


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Hm, you could certainly find ways to flirt – if he’s in to hiking, just come in saying “I think I chipped my tooth on a granola bar. No? My mistake.” He may get suspicious, though, when you’re coming in every 2 weeks for a check up.


  49. lmj Says:

    As a hygienist I couldn’t help but laugh after reading this post. I always wonder whats going on through the minds of those patients clenching to their seats =) I’m glad you’ve been converted into a flosser! I really try my best not to give people a hard time about flossing because honestly I didn’t floss everyday until hygiene school. Its not the end of the world as some of us may make it seem but we’re just trying to look out for your health in the long run. And as for our instruments, I wish the scraping sound wasn’t so awful, but the more you do between the 6 months you don’t see us, the less noise you’ll hear.


  50. Delorfinde Says:

    The dentist often just, like … looks at my teeth, you know? And I never know what they’re thinking. Good or bad? They take x-rays occasionally and never tell me if they found anything, so I’m sitting there going “Okay, do I have good teeth or not?”

    Also, when I had braces they gave me these elastic bands for them. Then I went to have my braces tightened and he gave me another bag, and I still had most of the first lot left. And then the next time he tightened my braces he tried to give me ANOTHER bag! So I told him I had loads left and he was really surprised … was I supposed to eat them or something?

    I don’t know. Dentists are crazy.

    Then there’s my brother. They’re literally just about to do his filling and he goes, “Why did you become a dentist?” Hmm … great moment to ask. Not.


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Yeah, what was the answer your brother was looking for? “It was divine providence”? “After I won the gold medal in Olympic filling setting it just seemed the logical next move”?


  51. I Made You A Mixtape Says:

    Well, this is a timely post for me as I’m booked to see my dentist on Wednesday! I am always worried about going… not only because of cost- but I’m always worried about getting a lecture from the dentist…. well, it has worked, I floss religiously now…lol


  52. Kemi Says:

    Very funny post! And congrats on being FP. I’ve always been suspicious of the whole flossing thing. And of dentists….


  53. Tale of My Heart Says:

    Very informative subject loved it……..


  54. Maria Says:

    Dig the conversation with the hygienist and your depiction of the flossing lesson. Thnx for the laugh.


  55. Arlene Says:

    I thought I’d never get to the end of your comments, congrats . I can’t sleep and after reading your post AND am due a dentist appointment, I don’t think I’ve got any hope of getting any sleep to-night


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      I know, my blog seems to have suddenly transformed into a referendum on dentistry and flossing in particular. Sorry about the insomnia – now that I could start a blog/referendum on…


  56. ancientfoods Says:

    Fantastic post-I laughed until I thought I would burst!!!!!


  57. Scott Says:

    Ha! Enjoyable post! The old dentist was right though. Given a choice between flossing and brushing–I would choose flossing. So many people brush at least three times a day, but never floss–and it shows (or rather, smells)! Before brushing, after each meal–I floss over the kitchen sink (living alone has its advantages), and I always use unwaxed floss. Floss with the waxed stuff, you might as well not floss at all. Unwaxed floss is getting harder to find, in stores–so I treat it almost like gold.


  58. lordegburtnobacon Says:

    Clearly you are not British sir. A dentist? Good lord, we used to have those in the 1970’s. These days we make do with flossing with sturdy cables made from pubic hair.


  59. Kristin Says:

    I’m glad I stumbled onto here. It was a much needed laughter excursion! Love your take on things. Can’t wait to come back and read more!


  60. Lenny Says:

    Although I’m not a dentist as others in this thread I too had a good laugh 🙂 Good luck man. You’re on the frontpage!


  61. mercythekitty Says:

    lol, the way you wrote this is hilarious! XDDD


  62. c Says:

    i laughed out loud, thanks


  63. jayden Says:

    “Now maybe my previous dentist was an escaped war criminal (I reported him as one, just in case), or maybe my current dentist is incompetent – roaming from room to room saying “Wow! Looks great!””

    First i thought, the dentist roaming from room to room saying “wow! looks great!” about YOUT TEETHS, you know, like running around in his dental-practise, being all exited, telling everyone of how amazed he is by your teeth :))
    haha, anyway, funny blog…


  64. Jana Says:

    made me smile a wide, toothy, well-maintained smile!


  65. Meredith Says:

    I hate that condescending “flossing demonstration”. Dude, it’s not that I don’t know how to floss, it’s that I’m too lazy to actually do it. There’s a difference.

    But hey, at least (presumably) you’ve never blurted out intimate facts about your fellatio skillz while in the chair (like I once did…see the full story here:

    A+ blog entry, btw. Would read again. 😀


  66. ron abbass Says:

    LOL Bryon, that was really funny. I liked the way you seasoned it with a sprinkling of humour and a dash of painful reality. LOL A great post! (thumbs up) 🙂


  67. ลดความอ้วน Says:

    Very funny post! And congrats on being FP. I’ve always been suspicious of the whole flossing thing. And of dentists….


  68. momfog Says:

    I hate to say it, but when I saw the picture coupled with the words “unwaxed,” dental floss is not what immediately popped into my head. 🙂

    Very funny and congratulations on FP!


  69. office online games Says:

    Very funny post! And congrats on being FP.


  70. Emeritus Says:

    Great post. Great writing. Very funny!


  71. pltprincess Says:

    LOL Definitely a market for the encouraging, complimenting only dentitst. I really need one as I tend to not reutrn to the same one for fear they see that my gums have not improved. I wonder if that the same quirky gene that makes me clean the house so that the maid doesn’t see how messy I am?


  72. leadinglight Says:

    I’ve fibbed about flossing … I do brush though so no issues for my teeth as yet!


  73. The Modern Nomad Says:

    My dentist used to say, ‘Whoops, looks like you’ve got a little cavity there! This’ll just take a moment….’ every time she wanted to visit her daugher in Vietnam or pave her driveway.


  74. abelovedone Says:

    This is why I’m scared of MOST places. Whether it’s the dentist, the doctor, or a hair salon, it’s never fun to hear how bad you are at something.

    “Oh wow… who cut your hair last? This really needs help,” is just another form of, “Do you floss?”


  75. โตโยต้า Says:

    Very funny post! And congrats on being FP. I’ve always been suspicious of the whole flossing thing. And of dentists….


  76. realanonymousgirl2011 Says:

    Ha ha so funny! I’m a terrible flosser, quite inconsistent and I always dread cleanings. They always ask “Have you been flossing?” and I do the same thing I floss like a ton of times right before I go thinking that it’s gonna fix it!


  77. Mackenzie | Red Roan Chronicles Says:

    I would definitely go to that dentist. It’d be good for my self-esteem.

    Awesome post. 🙂



  1. A Very Byronic Anniversary | The Byronic Man - November 22, 2011

    […] freshly pressed is an awesome, baffling experience.  Shortly after starting, I had a post on going to the dentist get featured, and I looked at my site stats that afternoon, hoping hoping hoping I’d broken 10 […]

  2. It’s Bad Luck Not To Read And Comment On This Post | The Byronic Man - February 11, 2012

    […] 3. Do you floss your teeth?  Hell, yes! I’m a bit obsessive about my teeth, as I periodically write about.  You know, my first freshly pressed was about flossing. […]

Every Time You Leave A Comment, An Angel Gets Its Wings.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: